Kyiv, Chernobyl, and the Borders of Bessarabia - August 25, 2019 - Atlas Obscura Trips
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter

Kyiv, Chernobyl, and the Borders of Bessarabia

from $4,225 USD per person for 11 days, 10 nights
See Dates and Prices
  • Max Group Size: 12
  • Moderate
  • Road Trip

Join us on a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Ukraine, Transnistria, and Moldova, a region historically known as Bessarabia, one of Europe’s most fascinating—and drastically underrated—regions. We'll delve deep into local cultures and traditions, Soviet history, and contemporary politics, and journey into the incredible Exclusion Zone created by the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

Accompanied by a whole team of experienced guides, we'll explore see beautiful Orthodox monasteries, underground tunnels, breathtaking monuments, and radioactive wastelands. Along the way, we’ll also find plenty of time to enjoy fantastic food and drink, good company, mischief, and mystery. Our adventures together will be breathtaking, surprising, and occasionally challenging … but always memorable.

  • Postnuclear wastelands
  • Soviet legacy
  • 21st-century culture
  • Hands-on history
  • Self-declared republic of Transnistria


Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
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Chernobyl and Transnistria—most likely the most epic experiences of any trip I've had.
—Krister C. (August 2018)

Additional Info

Activity Level

Some elements of this tour will be physically demanding. Our two-day exploration of Chernobyl involves no more than walking, but there will be a lot of that, and over rough ground, so be sure to bring proper walking boots or other outdoor footwear. Long sleeves and full-length pants are also required inside the Zone. Be aware that this tour also involves a good amount of driving time.

Arrival & Departure

Note that this itinerary begins and ends in two different cities (and countries). You should plan to arrive in Kyiv, Ukraine by 4 p.m. on August 25, and depart from Chișinău, Moldova anytime on September 4. If you'd like assistance with your flights, let us know and we'll refer you to our flight agents.

Dates and Prices

Aug 25–Sep 04, 2019
Shared Room
$4,225 USD per person
Single Room
$4,950 USD per person
The total cost of this trip is $4,225. A $500 deposit is required to hold your space. The deposit is non-refundable after three days. The final payment of $3,725 will be due by May 28, 2019. All reservations will be final after this date and subject to our cancellation policy. By submitting your deposit, you agree to the trip's Terms & Conditions. For travelers wishing to have single accommodations during the trip, an additional $725 will be due at the time of the final payment.
  • Ten nights of accommodation in modern, well-equipped hotels.
  • Daily breakfast and dinner.
  • The company of two foreign tour guides throughout, in addition to several different local guides, each stepping in to tell you about their specialist subjects.
  • Private transport throughout the trip, in a comfortable minibus.
  • Admission to all proposed activities and events, including museums, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and the Odessa Catacombs.
  • Transportation and flights to Kyiv and from Chișinău, including airport transfers. Note that the tour begins in Kyiv, Ukraine, and ends in Chișinău, Moldova.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including lunches and alcoholic beverages.
  • If applicable, applying for a Ukrainian visa. (Find out if you need one here.)

Additional Dates

Trip FAQ

In one word—bureaucratic. You can never be sure how long it will take for our group to cross a certain border, or what the border security staff will request in order to grant us access. Be flexible, bring a book, and consider it all part of the adventure.